Bend it Like Beckham is a film that tackles the issues of cross-cultural interactions, immigration, and the enlightened value of equality, in this case gender equality. Through the film, we can unders 1

Bend it Like Beckham is a film that tackles the issues of cross-cultural interactions, immigration, and the enlightened value of equality, in this case gender equality. Through the film, we can understand many of the pressing global issues of our times. It does present these themes in a positive and optimistic way, which is in contrast to our other recent primary sources.

1. First, how would you define “globalization”? Is globalization a good or bad thing, why and in what ways?

2. Human immigration is one of the major changes that globalization has brought to the world, which is why we are looking at it via this primary source film. What was the experience of the Sikh Indian immigrants like in Britain? What sort of prejudices did they face from the Anglo-British population? How did that experience make them retreat into their own Sikh community, despite living in Britain?

3. What experience did Jess’ father have that makes him reluctant to have his children participate in sports in Britain? How do the experiences of Jess’ family compare to those of recent immigrants (like Asians and Latin-Americans) in the United States or other places?

4. What were the gender expectations for both young women? Did they really differ despite coming from such different cultures? Were their mothers’ expectations for their daughters different from their fathers’? Is there a “correct” gender role for women?

5. Gender equality means the freedom to not be limited by artificial gender definitions. In what ways does the film portray gender inequality in the film? Did both women really experience gender equality, even in a very enlightened culture like Britain? Why didn’t the mothers think women can be active (like in sports)? Is “active” a masculine gender trait, even today in the West?

6. Men also faced limits do to gender roles. Did Joe’s father see him as successful as a football coach and a man given that he coaches a women’s club/team? What does that say about the masculine expectations that Joe was expected to live up to? How about Jess’ gay friend, Tony, why couldn’t he admit that he is gay? Why was being gay even harder for him as a member of the Sikh community? Who promoted gender inequality in the film, why?

7. In the film, how did football (soccer) represent freedom for all involved? For Jess, how did playing football represent some level of leaving her Sikh culture behind? Why did Jess see a bunch of Sikh women instead of the wall of defenders during her big penalty kick? What did that represent? How did “bending it like Beckham” (meaning a curving kick) provide her with the tools to achieve her dreams and gain her freedom?

8. We are now being impacted by a different form of globalization, that is the spread of disease. I want you to write a paragraph (or more if you want to) about your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and how you feel about being a participant in one of the few truly global events in human history. This is based on your experiences, you will be creating your own primary source about this event.

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